Collaborative working has been a standard practice in businesses for a while now. New tools that promote collaboration between staff members, teams, and departments inside an organization have been developed due to digital transformation.
These days, businesses are implementing this method of operation to manage their projects more successfully, promote collaboration, and foster resource and information sharing. Organizational silos can be destroyed with global collaboration and project-based operations.
Teamwork doesn't just happen among your staff. Collaboration can succeed or fail depending on circumstances. One such element is the hierarchical structure of your company. This is how it works.
What is a hierarchical structure?
The line of command inside a corporation that starts with senior management and executives and extends to general staff is known as a hierarchical organization. This hierarchy of authority ensures management levels are aware of their interrelationships and aids businesses in making effective decisions. A hierarchical system can be depicted as a pyramid on paper. Management positions closest to the top have the most power but have fewer workers. Although they tend to be more numerous, general employees near the bottom have less power.
Hierarchical structures impact collaboration
As you might expect, a pyramid structure is not the best for teamwork in your business for a number of reasons. The answer to what are the benefits of a hierarchical structure lies here.
1. Rigidly organized
Collaboration within teams is still compartmentalized in hierarchical organizations. Cross-functional communication or communication between departments is minimal or nonexistent. Without considering the organization's strategic goals, each employee works independently to pursue their goals or the department's goals.
2. The long decision-making process
A task or fresh idea may take a long time to validate because every choice must pass through each level of the pyramid. This impacts teams' motivation and performance.
3. Communication gap
Effective and successful teamwork depends on excellent communication. Nonetheless, there may be communication issues in a hierarchical system. First, between the various levels of the hierarchy, your request will need to pass through several middlemen before completion if you are not in direct contact with the appropriate individual. Along the route, it can get lost or modified.
Second, at the same level of the hierarchy, individuals from several departments can function differently when collaborating on a single project. These discrepancies may hinder collaboration, impede effective communication, and impact group work.
4. Competition between teams
In a hierarchical organization, various teams work alone to accomplish their objectives and department success rather than coming together and collaborating. They believe they compete with one another despite working toward the organization's primary goal. This is due to poor or absent communication.
How to develop an environment that fosters collaboration in your company?
Is your company hierarchical? What is the structure of the collaboration? By using these suggestions, you can promote teamwork effectively.
1. Don’t overlook the importance of clear communication
The concept is that all employees should have access to important firm information (strategies, finances, future plans, etc.) at all levels of the organization. Employees should be informed of what is expected of them and how they can work together to achieve the organization's strategic goals. This is done by leaders and managers. Employees will want to become more involved in the company's operations if this is done.
2. Establish a welcoming work atmosphere
Collaboration needs to be encouraged in the workplace. Open up the area and create inviting spaces so workers want to congregate there. In order to have enthusiastic, motivated, productive, and empowered employees, workplace well-being is crucial.
3. Provide the necessary tools
Due to remote work, collaboration may suffer. So, it is crucial to give your staff the tools they need to collaborate and communicate effectively, regardless of where they are.
4. Promote knowledge sharing
Collaboration is the process of combining resources like expertise and information to move faster toward a common objective. Your staff members possess expertise they can share with their colleagues. Employee skill development, innovation, and collaboration are all facilitated by fostering information sharing and peer learning inside your organization.
5. Utilize your employees' strengths
Many people undervalue their assets and are overly susceptible to their flaws. Make sure each member of your team completes a personality test, then shares the results with the rest of the team to turn that perspective on its head and foster successful collaboration (the Myers-Briggs is an example of a personality test available online). Each person gains newfound self-awareness from the exam findings, which also helps their teammates get to know them and their abilities.
For instance, if personality test results show that someone on your team is very detail-oriented, enjoys order, and works best in small groups, you wouldn't want to assign them to a task that requires them to think widely and collaborate with a sizable, disorderly group of individuals. Team members' skills wouldn't be utilized to their fullest potential.
6. Remember, automation is your be-all and end-all
It would be quite challenging for your staff to remain motivated if they spent the majority of their time at work on administrative duties rather than more engaging jobs. Workers will be less likely to desire to contribute significantly to a team if they don't feel like they are making a difference at work.
Instead, spend money on software and technologies that automate repetitive activities. By taking this action, you may free up your workers' valuable time so they can concentrate on more engaging duties that are significant to both the organization and them. For this to succeed, make sure your supervisors use the new technology. Your staff will follow your bosses' lead if you can get them excited about the program's advantages (which improves teamwork).
7. Emphasize team members' socialization outside of work
Asking your team members to add something additional to their calendars may seem like an ineffective idea because everyone appears short on time these days. Yet when team members spend time together outside of work, they recognize each other as people, not just employees.
Some businesses plan outings or team-building exercises for their employees to enjoy. When clients approach and wonder what they will discuss besides business, it helps to "break the ice"! This is a great way to establish connections. It brings people together in a relaxed setting, letting them get to know one another without feeling like they are at a business event.
8. Provide areas to facilitate unplanned workplace interactions and brainstorming opportunities
Workers shouldn't feel obligated to spend the entire workday at their workstations to be productive. While sipping coffee, eating lunch, or waiting for a meeting to start, team members can spontaneously connect and share ideas.
It is possible to become overly preoccupied with a situation and experience excessive stress. Moving on and taking a break at that point can be beneficial. Locate a conversation partner from a different team or department. Provide some information about what stumps you and inquire about what they have been working on. By explaining the situation to another person, the solution will become obvious.
9. As a leader, it is your responsibility to set an example for your organization
While communicating with your team members as the team leader of a collaborative group, avoid using the "Do as I say, not as I do" fallacy. It's critical for you to act cooperatively with others, both within and outside of the business.
Ensure that you regularly speak with each team member privately. These one-to-one conversations are a chance for each of you to learn more about the other. They also provide your team members with the chance to ask for assistance and make demands. Make sure to pay close attention to each request, and refrain from making promises until you can meet them. It is more crucial for your team members to feel confident in your ability to deliver than to overpromise and underdeliver.
Your organization's hierarchical structure has an impact on how well your workers work together. With these suggestions, you may foster an enterprise collaboration system even if your organization is not flat. You are in charge!
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